T Nation

Trying to Remember the Name of a 1980's Bodybuilder


I am trying to remember the name of a bodybuilder from the late 1980’s early 1990’s.
He was American, dark hair, possibly Italian background. I think he competed up to national level, don’t think he ever qualified for the professional division.
He was featured regulary in photo’s and interviews in Ironman Magazine. I can remember one interview where he talks about going natural, and how steroids messed up his marriage. He might have also been Mormon.
There was also a rumour that he might have been the inspiration for one of the guys in Sam Fussel’s biography/novel “Muscle”.
Can anyone think who this might be, and what happened to him?


Oh , that’s right it was Lee haney! :)Just foolin. Nobody got any idea?


I loved fussel’s book, so now I’m wondering about who you might be recalling. Obviously he changed a few names in there.

Most of the things you listed aren’t uncommon for BBers, so I’m not surprised people haven’t been able to chime in… @BrickHead seems to recall everything from the 80’s, maybe he’ll chime in.



I was actually thinking of Joseph Santorielli but I don’t recall him being a Mormon.


Heavens to Murgatroid, Brick I think you have it. Nice work indeed. He got lots of magazine covers, and a fine physique indeed. Maybe I remembered the Mormon thing wrong, but pretty sure he talked about some type church a lot.
Stu I believe he was the guy that Vinnie was based on, in Fussel’s book. He certainly seems to fit the bill.


I didn’t know that. Makes me wonder who the others were that he obviously altered their names for publication.



I looked him up. I got his name wrong. I had the right guy but his name is Franco Santoriello. I thought his first name was Joseph. He was amazing!



I remember him in the ads for Cybergenics -lol


Wow, that is a blast from the past. As a raw 18 year old, I splashed the cash and bought my Cybergenics course thanks to him. I later read a Flex article where his transformation was put down to 6 hours in the gym 6 days a week eating 6000 kcal. Needless to say, I felt cheated!! Maybe that’s why he turned to God in a bid to make up for the artful con!


From what I could tell he had a real problem with being truthful. Unfortunately most of the bodybuilders from this era had the same problem. When given the choice of taking big $ for supplement promotion, vs admitting that they were all doing copious amounts of steroids to get that look, they always took the former. Not very surprising, but they sure ripped off the dreams(and $) from a lot of young guys who just needed to take their supp’s and train hard, to get to the top.

What impresses me about Franco is he didn’t seem to suffer from any obvious side effects from steroid usage. No balding, great skin. I do a mild cycle and my hair thins at the front, and I break out in zits, hair sprouts all over my back.
If he was the “Vinnie” character from Muscle, I think he was the guy who had to squat whist wearing diapers, outherwise he shat himself.
From memory Fussel seemed a bit dismissive of Vinnie’s potential in the bodybuiling world. Its true that he wasn’t greatly successful record wise, but he sure built one hell of an impressive physique, that got him lots of magazine coverage and publicity.


Ah, Cybergenics. I too plunked down the $100+ for it back when I was a poor college student (and that was a lot of money). The foul-tasting sublingual drops; the impossible workout program; the Spartan diet. Ah yes, I remember it well.


I got a job at a GNC for a brief stint in college. I figured that amazing employee discount, plus access to every muscle rag being published each month would surely guarantee my hugeness by Senior year!

What really happened was that I was able to bring home a copy of each magazine we didn’t sell for my roomies and I to stockpile by the shitter, access to the very first Met-RX Protein bar (which we all thought would make magic happen by the next mornign after splitting one 3 ways that I had brought home), and - a bit of a positive - I began reading the few books on nutrition and sportts nutrition that were available at the time (anyone remember Michael Colgen’s book?)

Good times indeed :slight_smile:



If I recall correctly, someone interviewed in the book Anabolic Reference Guide, by Bill Phillips, said that Santoriello burnt out on roids. Obviously, as I am sure you know, there are other things that go wrong with heavy, consistent roid use that are not visible to others (e.g., organ dysfunction, emotional issues, perhaps even marital or social issues).